Our story began six years ago when Leslie hired Hae to produce the Buck Institute for Research on Aging’s 2012 Annual Report. With four successful collaborations under our belt, we partnered together to serve other clients for branding, identity, and marketing collateral.
In spring of 2017, we were at a brand workshop led by brand guru Marty Neumeier (author of The Brand Gap and many other titles) when we realized that we needed to be a united entity. It was sometimes cumbersome to explain to prospective clients that we were separate businesses—“she does marketing and brand strategy and she does the creative and design.”
It was the night before the final presentations of the workshop. We had a name. We had a tagline. We had our “onlyness” statement. We were still struggling with the unknowns of our market. How narrow should it be? Do they use creative agencies? We knew that we wanted to work with mission-driven organizations. This was later fine-tuned to organizations whose mission was to improve lives. We knew we wanted to help businesses and non-profits who were doing good in the world.
Hae came up with a temporary logotype and Leslie wrote some bullet points for several pitch meetings we had later in the year. But, we were too busy to work on our own branding. No real logo, no real business cards, no website—the cobbler’s kids went without shoes for an entire year!
Earlier this spring, we discovered that Sustainable Brands was gearing up for their annual flagship conference in Vancouver. With a couple of months notice, we decided to attend and make our launch official at the conference. We often ask our clients if there is an event or meeting for which they would like to have their deliverables. And for us, having the conference was a great motivator to get our identity and website completed.